How Switching Genres Helped Taylor Swift Stay On Top

In 2006, Taylor Swift releases her self-titled debut album on Big Machine Records, and the artist quickly became the new country sweetheart who spoke to young girls with broken hearts. Taylor Swift has won several CMA awards including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Music Video of the Year. Swift is believed to have dominated the country realm of music.

Here is a video of Taylor Swift’s first hit, “Teardrops on My Guitar.”

Despite her success, Taylor Swift quickly diverted from her country platform and decided to create mainstream pop music for a larger audience. Her first pop album 1989 was full of new distinctive sounds, layered vocals, and electronically-based melodies.

Here are three reasons why Taylor Swift switched genres.

1. She followed the changing trends within pop culture.

As a musician and business woman, Taylor Swift pays attention to the ever-changing trends of pop culture. Music is now in an era where pop genre, electronic, and dance music are the leading categories on the Billboard charts. In order for her to stay on the top, Taylor Swift must evolve as pop culture progresses.

Here is a video of Swift’s hit single, “Shake it Off.”

2. She wants to challenge herself as an artist.

In an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, the artist explained, “I think for me it’s really important to constantly challenge yourself, and I think you have to keep people’s attention by surprising them… I think that’s the best way to be exciting.”

For someone who has mastered her songwriting abilities, Taylor Swift just wants to step out of her comfort zone and further explore her capabilities. The multi-Grammy award-winning artist wants to generate a larger fan base by expanding her techniques in music making. She wants her music to be more “sonically cohesive.”

Here’s a video of Swift’s “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

3. She wants to evolve with her growing fan base.

Along with many other singer/songwriter musicians, Taylor Swift’s music career is mapped out like a journey. Her first album introduces a 15-year-old with aspiring dreams and teenage crushes; as Swift grows older, her lyrics and melodies grow more mature as she targets an older fan base.

By boldly allowing herself to evolve artistically, Taylor Swift acknowledges her musical complexity and the many dynamic elements within her creative process.

Here is a video of “Style.”

Like all popular artists, Taylor Swift is willing to evolve her sound to stay on top and challenge herself. Follow in Taylor’s footsteps if you’re ready to take your career one step ahead.

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Weng Cheong is a Psychology and International Relations double major in Syracuse University. She loves listen to music, take photographs, and travel in her spare time.

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